Use of space technology can play a pivotal role in the economic development of the country. The space technologies have changed the overall spectrum of today’s society. The manual work paradigm is shifting to more technological oriented nature of work. By taking the benefit of these innovative technologies and aligning to rest of the world, there was a dire need to identify the current requirements of space technology applications in the government departments so that an integrated system at Provincial level can be attained. For this purpose, a committee on ‘Space Technology Applications in Socio-Economic Development Progress’ was formulated by the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS). Through various meetings at ACS office and departmental consultations, PC1 is formulated with focus on strengthening GIS and RS capacity of the departments and effective utilization of technology in the process flows. The capacity and need assessment of government departments (Forest Department, Agriculture Department, Irrigation Department, Punjab Social Protection Authority, Planning & Development Board, PITB, EPA, PDMA and SUPARCO) were identified. This proposed project will develop a complete online system for data dissemination and sharing, within nine government departments users will be able to access the portal hence strengthen GIS and RS related capacity of the departments leading to data driven decision making. These systems will enable collaboration, integration, aggregation and consolidation of RS/GIS data, information and services into a single user interface that is accessible through any standard web browser. User departments can also upload and update the data to the centralized web portal through which other departments will be benefited. This would enhance coordination between departments, improve collection procedures, increase engagement and training opportunities and open up direct feedback mechanisms. This approach is a top-down holistic framework which is sufficiently flexible runs up against data requests which will be bottom-up and idiosyncratic. It is fit for purpose, now and in future purposes. The access to the data will be provided, based on user’s specific login for each department; this will ensure restrictive access to detailed datasets. For sensitive data, protocols will be designed and implemented. The system will allow them to perform different analysis on the data and its related indicators; thus, enabling the user to uncover the hidden patterns and linkages in the data. User will also be able to spatially visualize the said data on RS/GIS based dashboard for detailed analysis and mapping. The system is needed to overcome following issues

  • Inconsistency in the production of geographic information (different coding and classification systems, different projections, lack of official digital base maps)
  • Limited data documentation
  • Duplication of efforts
  • Institutional work in silos
  • Insufficient value added to basic maps
  • Minimal data exchange / sharing

The proposed project objectives and its relationship with sectorial objectives;

  1. Centralized platform for data management, visualization and sharing with department through user based logins
  2. One time high resolution satellite image purchase and provision to all government bodies
  3. Revenue boundaries dashboard up to Mouza Level of 36 districts of Punjab – visualization portal with mouza directory, geo-mussavies, satellite images and boundaries
  4. Crop mapping and yield estimation
  5. Satellite imagery with base layers of Punjab to facilitate above mentioned Government departments on data visualization and querying with customized fast map making tools
  6. Development of Environmental data sets and monitoring (satellite based monitoring)
  7. Training and Capacity Building

Technology Aspects

The project aims at effective management and implementation of modern methods under Space Technology Applications for Socio-Economic Development with objectives to maintain, monitor and reuse data. The proposed project includes a significant investment in RS/GIS in the development of dashboards and portals for the ease of government departments by providing following but not limited to:

  • For advance planning and decision making by using Geographical Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Information Technology (IT) tools and techniques to automate the manual works.
  • Establishing a centralized platform for data management and sharing system for the purposes of planning, strong monitoring, better management, and decision making.
  • Enhancing professional capacity at all levels.

For crops inventory, soil, water, smog and hazardous gasses data collection, different equipment and machinery; Satellite Imagery, Drones, Environment Monitoring Sensors, spectro-Radiometer will be used. Moreover, a Research Lab on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be established by the Urban Unit. Now a days, globally and everywhere; AI systems are being integrated into everyday life, supporting people with cognitive and physical tasks. Research in AI focuses on the development and analysis of algorithms that learn and/or perform intelligent behavior with minimal human intervention. R&D Robotics Lab will be used for research in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. The lab will become a gold source of data for Pakistan, assisting government in policy formation and strategy execution. It will help to use the confluence of Big Data Analytics, connectivity and artificial intelligence, to assist government departments in adopting predictive strategy, paradigms towards Knowledge Economy. Researchers of different departments across the areas of computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, planning, and robotics will be benefited by developing and applying artificial intelligence methods and algorithms. It will addresses the development of algorithms and systems that enable collaboration, increase autonomous capabilities, and rethink the ways in which we design and interact with the physical world.

The project duration of this scheme is two years and enlisted in ADP 2019-20. The actual implementation will start after approval of Departmental Development Sub-Committee of P&D Board.